Just in case you haven’t noticed (and you’ve been hibernating for a month!) , it’s FIFA World Cup!
At Polysleep, we were wondering how professional soccer players deal with sleep. Indeed, we know that for any elite athlete, sleep is just as important as eating & drinking!
We had the chance to interview Carl Haworth, a Canadian professional soccer athlete playing for the Ottawa Fury FC in the United Soccer League.
As a forward, Carl’s job is pretty intense…! There’s no way around it: he must be ready to fight! Today, he shares with us the details of his daily routine.
What is your sleep routine as a professional soccer player?
There are a lot of different aspects that are important to be able to become a professional athlete and to maintain the highest level of performance possible.
In order to compete every single day at peak performance, we need to take care of our bodies on and off the field.
It is important for elite athletes to get anywhere between 8-10 hours of sleep per 24-hour period.
Although there are different ways to do this, I aim to get about 8 hours of sleep at night to be prepared for practice and then lay down for a nap after practice in the early afternoon after getting the nutrients needed to recover after exercise.
It becomes tricky to match this routine while on the road, but you can catch up on sleep while on busses or planes in between cities. We generally arrive at the hotel the night before the game, so as long as we check in early enough it is still possible to get the 8-10 hours of sleep that’s desired to feel well rested and recovered heading into gameday.
How do you prepare for a game the night before?
The night before the game is vital in terms of preparation and putting yourself in the best situation, both mentally and physically, heading into the match.
I like to just be relaxed as much as possible! I am getting in the zone listening to music from my favorite artists, and watching various soccer highlight videos and game tape to help visualize the upcoming game.
The meal before gameday is especially important in order to last the full 90+ minutes. Providing your body with the nutrition it needs all throughout the week is vital! The night before a game, I like to make sure I have a good source of protein and a good mix of complex carbs and lots of vegetables (especially greens).
On top of all that, getting a good night’s rest is vital to complete the optimal preparation for a game.
What do the hours before a big game look like for you?
The hours leading up to a big game for me are quite simple
I like to make sure I get some rest in the afternoon, so anywhere between 30 minutes to a 1-hour nap is crucial.
After that, I get into the kitchen and cook up some :
- Chicken breast,
- Sweet potatoes,
- A variety of green vegetables.
Once I have the nutrition covered, I take my dog for a nice walk and then head to the stadium to start my physical preparation for the game. With my headphones on, I go through my stretch and rolling out routine to loosen up the body.
I like to get out onto the field before the warmup to just get some touches on the ball and visualize myself in the upcoming game.
If all these aspects are taken care of, I am confident in my ability to perform at my best to help my team win!
Bonus question… Who do you think will win this World Cup?! Any favorite?
I was born in England, and most of my family still lives there so I naturally want them to win.
But if I am predicting who will win, I would have to say France or Brazil.
Thank you, Carl, for inviting us into your routine! We can now better imagine the sleep hygiene needed for top-level players during this World Cup! Although we are not necessarily high-level players, we are confident that these tips will inspire many of us!
Carl recently started sleeping on the Polysleep mattress and we can’t wait to hear his thoughts on his experience! Stay tuned to learn more about Carl’s Polysleep experience!
Happy FIFA World Cup!!